In a follow-up to this episode with Noah Smith, EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with Adam Ozimek of Forbe’s and Moody’s to explore how new data influences people’s world views.


1. Ozimek, an empirical optimist, asserts that we are making steady progress in figuring out the empirical effects of various policies such as the minimum wage. Roberts is skeptical. What grounds does he have for his skepticism? Is his skepticism dogmatic in its own way? How might their disagreement be resolved?2. Roberts offers a very candid description of how his views about markets have changed over the years. Does his current mindset make him more or less optimistic about markets’ efficacy? What lies behind Roberts’s evolution? Despite this evolution, it appears that there have been few changes in Roberts’s philosophical outlook. How is that possible?

4. Have you changed your own worldview (bias? ideology?) when you’ve encountered something that just doesn’t fit? (Roberts offers the example of Wikipedia in his own case.)

5. Ozimek argues that the “thought industry” is “driven far too much by persuading our own side.” What does he mean by this? What is the “thought industry”? And to what extent is Ozimek right about it? Do you seek out views that you disagree with? Why or why not?